Archive for January, 2012

YES Plus Poems

These are poems written at the end of the YES Plus class (Youth Empowerment Seminar for young adults). The course was at the Art of Living center at Metuchen, New Jersey in January 2012 and taught by Gayathri Uchila. Here “Kriya” refers to Sudarshan Kriya, a special breathing technique taught in the Art of Living courses.

Bringing out the Best in Me by Sunity Panchal

Bringing out the best in me always
the YESPLUS has taught me,
to live in the present moment
and give my hundred percent.

Amidst the judgments and criticism,
bringing the best in me always
the YESPLUS has taught me how
to see the divinity’s presence in each eyes,
to accept people and situations as they are,
to smile, to be creative and wise…

Bringing out the best in me always,
the YESPLUS has taught me that
opposite values are complementary-
what you resist will persist anyway

When you become the football of other’s opinions,
you loose the charm, the innocence and belongingness.
Bringing the best in me always
the YESPLUS has taught me that seeing intention
behind other people’s mistakes
ruins the whole purpose of enjoying life every moment…

After all, bringing out the best in me always,
the YESPLUS has added to the undivided attention to myself and,
to the people it adds peace and beauty to my life!

YES+ by Ashwin Menon


Poem by Raghav Garg

I woke up to do Kriya,
I missed out on sleep;
But it gave me a great feeling,
So it’s a habit I wish to keep.

There’s so much to learn,
Especially about living;
We are taught yoga and meditation,
Then we learn the importance of giving.

We learn the value of a smile,
And also how to not have an ego;

In the end we all belong to society
So we all have the power to make it and ourselves grow

Poem by Jeet Patel

A true skeptic turned into a believer, not by a fanatical system of religion but rather a practical set of exercises and beliefs which are spiritual in nature. These exercises and beliefs are not constraints to one’s life, they are the key to removing the shackles of human nature which bind individuals into the cycle of laziness and negativity. A skeptic turned to a believer by the coming of a very positive and sticking experience from the Yes Plus course, which will carry its impact for a lifetime. A true miracle that five days can accomplish.

Poem by Sheetal Sharma

Smile, sing, dance
Breathe, laugh, live
Such are things YesPlus helped me do.
Down came my wall of ego
Gone are my inhibitions.
It is now that I have truly started living.
For it is now that I have started living in the present.

The Roses & Me by Sneha Shah

Magenta Roses shriveling in the high heat of August
Were in full bloom after the storm teared through the fields,
Leaving fresh beds of dew glistening on their vibrant stems
Dew that sparkles like my tears after a long kriya, a catharsis of the soul
The Magenta Roses are no different than me
Under the Lord’s grace I shine
For he is like the Sun, providing nourishment to my weary mind,
my weary body
Magenta Roses glimmering in the pleasant breeze of late October
My smile, blossoming, like the bud of a rose,
Soft as an autumn wind

Poem by Amrita Goraya
The darkness encompassed me
the despair overtook me.
I lay there overwhelmed with emotions.
Finally I saw the light that ended the commotion.
Guruji’s face illuminated with a smile
Space froze for a while.
I stepped into a garden surrounded by flowers.
His hand held mine, transferred power.
Light shined, showered me with love.
Laughter around me, encompassed me, in his arms.
Found, I am saved, I belong.

Bliss by Sneha Shah

Bliss is a short spell
That God cast on me
A spark of magic, fleetingly passing by
But because I felt it, I saw it
Even for a short while
I know he exists and this
glimmer of hope
Is all I need

Poem by Prabu Vijayan

Hey! do ujjai!
Pick Kriya! Kick stress!
I look into your eyes…& I see my skies!
Let’s walk the miles, spreading our smiles!
Om Om Om…and we are home!
I belong to you! How about you?!

Poem by Smeet Patel

The art of living
There’s no knowing
without experiencing
The peace of mind which we come about,
The heavenly paradise
which we all dream about.
The art, we have to see for ourselves
The experience; only Guruji could guide us about.

Poem by Ami Shah

On the 12th of January, I began the YesPlus class,
At the start, I approached it with skepticism and sass
However, as the class went on,
I began to grow fond,
of the morals, yoga and kirya taught to us,
The breathing exercises made me twich and fuss,
But I fell as though in such a short time,
I have learned to discipline myself and that committing a mistake is certainly not a crime,
That the biggest mistake is to live with an ego,
That we must push forward with passion and go with the flow,
Thank you for such a great experience to express myself so deeply as such cases are few
I feel rejuvenated- turned my life anew!

Poem by Anish

Young minds come together to broaden spiritual horizons
Energetic teachers and students learning from one another
Stimulating exercises to make individuals realized the Self
Playful games to bring back their childlike innocence
Leading over limitations set by one’s ego
Universal teachings to help individuals better themselves and the world
Service that i done for a simple smile for strangers

Yes Plus by Subha

I came into this course just by accident. I was under a lot of stress while in school. The peer pressure and with my parents having high expectations from we were really depressing me. My mom just told me to register for the course. I had no idea what to expect going in. I did not know that my life was going to change dramatically.

During the Sudarshan Kriya process I totally lost my senses of the physical body to a point I did not know how to go to the lying down position when I was sitting at the beginning. I was in a different world altogether and felt very relaxed in the end.

The course points seem easy to implement in our day to day lives. Hard at first, bust as I go through my daily routine, I find that I am able to handle my emotions and feelings a lot better.

Poem by Meredith Gray

Meditation and Yoga is no Joke
The Art of Living classes
Sri Sri’s message of health and happiness
And smile from the inside
Will touch those around you

The Space Within by Megha Kamra

Breathe in, breathe out
My lungs expand and contract
As a forgotten and familiar energy enters my heart,
which my mind settle down and bends to meet.
It is like sleeping and waking at the same time
I rest into myself and see that I am a child.
Enthusiasm and peace finally dance together,
Softening and healing the wounds that seemed stuck.
I awake from meditation and see love
glistening through the spaces between objects and people,
I realize that fairy tales are not just happenings.
I awake to see that love is my existence,
And it serves me with each breath,
I did not realize I was this cared for.
Words seem too constrictive to catch this feeling
And that is why I close my eyes again
And sink into the sacred space that
is, always was, and will never cease to be.


blogpost on YES Plus experiences

upcoming YES Plus courses


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sunrise at Art of Living's International Center in Quebec, Canada

by Heena Dhruv

Meditation is the new word on the block. It’s the new trend and most of us have at least heard and/or read about it.  But I wasn’t sure that it was my cup of tea. I didn’t think I needed it, and to be quite honest, I just did not have the time for it. It felt like it was something beyond my reach, something only very serious-minded people would practice.

That is, until recently, when things really started going haywire in my life from so many different angles. I was desperately searching for some peace within and decided to give the much talked about “meditation” a try since a few of my colleagues had praised it so much. So I started to do some research of my own. Although it sounded fairly easy to do, I wasn’t sure how to get started. I began to sit in a quiet place with my eyes closed trying to focus. However, no matter how much I tried to concentrate, my mind wondered off in so many directions, one thought after another, and I found that very bothersome. I knew having too many thoughts during meditation was not the correct way to go about it. Plus there were so many do’s and dont’s:  sit straight, don’t move, eat right etc.

I decided to do some more searching hoping to find the right technique or the type of meditation suitable for me because there are endless approaches to meditation. After a few weeks of searching, I landed on a website for an organization called Art of Living. The name itself caught my attention. “Art of Living” I thought, “What is this all about?” I read about their Sudarshan Kriya, meditation, yoga etc.  After having gone through extensive research and trial and error on my own, I knew I was not getting anywhere. So I decided to sign myself up for the Art of Meditation course.

On the first day of the course, I didn’t know what to expect, and although I was nervous, I was very curious.  Without going into too much detail of the course, because it is an experience that one should go through on one’s own, it was fantastic. The course itself was refreshing and uplifting and the teachers were very knowledgeable and helpful. Although I had just learned to meditate with a special mantra or sound, it was still very challenging. Lots of thoughts and urges to concentrate would make me even more restless. Giving up would have been a much easier option, but instead I continued to practice meditation for 20 minutes twice a day as instructed in the course.

Now two months later, it has become an integral part of my daily routine. The key is to meditate regularly; practice makes perfect. I am happy and delighted to have taken up this challenge because it is extremely beneficial and rewarding. It has made a world of difference in such a short span of time. The benefits of meditation to your mind and body are immense. Nothing can compare with the feeling of fullness and wholeness. I am more calm, relaxed, enthusiastic and clear in my decision making. I look forward to just sitting with my eyes closed and doing absolutely nothing, twice a day. It’s a real treat to the soul. At times, I find myself full of joy for no reason. Now this does not mean that I never feel any negative emotions. It’s just that I’ve learned a better way of handling those emotions whereas there was only one way before– frustration.

Taking the initiative to take the Sahaj Samadhi course (aka “Art of Meditation”) is one of the best decisions I have made in life.   I have achieved something so precious that it’s hard to put into words. One can only value something as powerful as meditation after having tried it oneself. Reading about it does not do it justice. One must learn and practice it.  Sahaj Samadhi meditation is a simple, easily-learned mantra (sound) meditation technique, which reduces stress levels, anxiety, depression, “perfectionistic thinking” and many more negative emotions. Being complimented on your calmness during difficult situations or showing gratitude to those who otherwise did not expected it is breathtaking.

I have learned the secret to happiness! 🙂  I feel more whole and complete. This is the power of meditation.  It is priceless!!!!!

Don’t postpone the good things in life. Come and learn to meditate. Below find an upcoming course in your area:


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Aparna Chawla

by Aparna Chawla

Check out this article on meditation in the Home News Tribune by New Jersey Art of Living teacher, Dr. Aparna Chawla. Below is an excerpt from the article.

What makes us happy?

Is happiness a state of mind or is it linked to having a good paying job, good health, healthy family, healthy bank balance, etc.?

If so, how long does this happiness last?

What can we do to extend the state of happiness or keep it from going away?

Most of our actions are driven to maximize happiness in our lives.

Yet, we find that a state of happiness is elusive.

What gives us joy now (for example, a relationship) can become a cause for misery in the future.

In our minds, we constantly link happiness to external events.

We tend to think that “something wonderful is going to happen to us in the future.”

“Once I have a job, I will be very happy,” a jobless person thinks.

“When I get out of this rut and have enough money to retire, I will be happy,” someone with a job says to himself or herself.

Retired people may not be happy because they are not sure of how to utilize their time and keep themselves busy.

People who are single are craving for relationships and people who are in relationships are envious of people who are single.

Happiness always seems to be 20 feet away from where we stand in our lives.

Is this a way to live?

We have seen from our past experience that linking our happiness to external events is an illusion.

We can have everything that we want but, if we think that we will be happy after attaining something, we are living in a dream world.

We can be happy right now with what we have.


full article

Dr. Aparna Chawla is a general dentist practicing in Central Jersey. She has been a member of the Art of Living Foundation ( since 1986 and is a certified instructor. She teaches meditation and Art of Living courses to adults, teens and youth.


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